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Private Jets: A History

Aug 17, 2007
When the Wright Brothers succeeded in flying their 'heavier than air' machine at Kitty Hawk way back in 1903, everyone thought it was just a toy. However, within a decade there were hundreds of such machines flying and soon it became a common sight to see flying machines dotting the skies; and they were covering longer distances.

Still, flying was only a hobby and some people who were passionate about flying either purchased or built and virtually lived in their own aircrafts. The only way they could make a living was by flying their airplanes, so they started giving "joy rides" to interested people to earn enough to maintain their machines and a square meal a day. When there were no takers for joy rides, they would demonstrate their aerobatic skills like flying the "loop" or flying upside down and a variety of other stunts, near village fairs. These pioneers were known as "barnstormers ".

There were no airports as such, and these barnstormers flew "by the seat of their pants"(meaning there were no navigational equipments those days, so the aircrafts were piloted much the same way as one would drive a car by looking around and fixing landmarks) taking off and landing in open fields wherever they wanted to stop over.

The possibilities were really seen only when Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic Ocean flying "solo" from New York to Paris in the thirties, in his single engined airplane christened SPIRIT OF ST.LOUIS. Soon the World War began and that was the time when massive development took place in the field of aviation. Germans were improving their aircrafts by the day competing with USA and England.

The British fighter aircrafts "Spitfires" and the German "Messer schmits" are legends even to this day.

Larger aircrafts were built to carry more people and more cargo. Mail that was ferried by road and rail was sent by air, bringing forth the now popular "air mail" service. Some businessmen and Industrialists started calling those barnstormers asking for a lift to some place as they found it was faster than going by train or car, and it gave them that extra prestige.

Thus, the advent of 'air taxis' was born.

Slowly but surely, the world realized that airplanes were not toys, and that they would revolutionize the way people traveled. The world became smaller, and aviation was taken up seriously resulting in development of larger Airliners, invention of the Jet engine, breaking of the "sound barrier" (traveling faster than sound), and even space travel, all within a century after the first ever heavier than air machine flew!
About the Author
Jason Uvios writes about "Private Jets: A History" to visit : private pilots for hire , corporate private jets and corporate jets .
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